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Not all Science is fun


Cricket has come to a stage where each and every decision made on the ground by the umpires could very well affect the outcome of the game. However, unlike football, Cricket seems to have the space to accommodate umpiring errors without inviting much fury. The question is: should umpire's role become regularly trimmed as technology enables more appropriate decisions to avoid unfair space in cricket?alt

One of the positives for avoiding technology is to give the game a raw element of error which could not be held against the umpire due to human limitations. Such unfair decisions add a lot of spice to the game and seek attention from the audience and keeps them involved in the game long after it’s over. It may sound too flamboyant but please notice, it's very important for any game or its players to create controversies and hype around the game. Just like the traditional series like The Ashes is able to even without a ball being bowled. This could be easily the key reason, taken by broadcasters along with the head boards of the game, why Football is yet to embrace a lot of technological advances into the game.

Nevertheless, any such effort to keep the game in audience's hot list easily ranks amongst shrewd marketing strategies that we all treat with contempt.

A few cricket based tech-driven ideas like Hot-spot and Hawk-eye are clearly with a motive to make cricket a fair game. Hot-spot brings in one of the most sophisticated military based technology of using infra-red cameras to point out the exact impact of the ball on any part of the batsman or the bat. The improvement, if used as an aid by the umpires, will help in accurately judging a player out in case of LBWs and slight-nicked catches. Hawk-eye, a technology which suggests probable direction of the ball after the point of impact, however is a weaker cousin and I am glad that it has not been accepted for LBW decision-making.

Long ago, ICC decided to open doors to technology thanks to a trend of regional bias that threatened to kill the spirit of the game. On the same note, ICC now faces a tremendous pressure with other such improvements eying the open door. Result? ICC ends up fencing the developments rather than actively and positively considering each one of them with merit. 

However, in a game that augments luck factor right from the first action on ground, i.e. toss, how necessary it is accept these changes? Cricket already lacks pace that its competitor games strive on. Introduction of such new technologies kills the 'spur-of-the-moment-action' that is anyways so rarely possible in a game of cricket. Worried about unfair decisions? What about toss then? What about the batting-friendly pitches? What about not-anymore relevant methods like Duckworth-Lewis? Surely some issues that need to be addressed much before we create and implement new things, I feel.

However, such new technologies work wonders with analysis. And mind you, analyzing the game is the key success point for cricket. It makes for a great viewing when a wrongly adjudged close LBW decision is countered by Hawk-eye, doesn't it? Cricket needs to bring out points for conversation. Let us try not to delete them all together or discussing cricket matches over beer at your local pub might just become a part of history.

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